Bombshell Blonde/Rise and fall of a blonde bombshell
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
In a crippling state, not long ago
I explored a lonely land
Where skies were grey; roses were black
And ashes replaced the sand.
To my left, all I could see
Was a river filled with tears,
But now I have a question:
How did I end up here?
-- A Lonely Journey, Myridean, ©1987
Which was precisely the question that Julie, also known also as Jule, Jules, Blondie, and most notably known by the Longbow and other capes as that Infamous Bombshell Blonde, had going through her pretty, little head when she landed by the river Styx in the Netherworld.
"How did I end up here?" Well, that's a good question considering less than two months ago, Julie had a growing family of her own with the Daughters of Lilith that she formed; a strong relationship with her extended family of coalition members including her former family, the Sadist's Blade; plenty of contracts to work on to help feed her guys; a loving boyfriend who worked at CapeRadio as a DJ and worked as a cape; a group of close friends from the City and the Isles and finally, a demoness who had shown favour towards her by helping her develop her innate talents for black majick and sorcery. Life couldn't be better in the Rogue Isles of all places actually.
But life can turn on a dime and faster than a country singer can release the saddest song of all time on Mp3, one by one the house made of cards that Julie built started to tumble down upon her. This story won't go into all the sordid details of her downfall but focuses instead on her continuing trip down, her trip down through Hell, that is.
As Julie slowly gains awareness of her surroundings, she looks for the first time across the river she now has to cross. In the distance, she sees a gondola come towards her and tries to make out the figure standing up with the huge pole. She tries to laugh but notices that something round and flat is under her tongue. Curiously, she deftly removes it from her mouth and looks at it as it sits in her hand. She smiles then as she remembers fondly her final kiss from Den. He had passed her the Denari coin from his lips to hers and helped her to place it under her tongue with his before she died.
Looking up, she notices that the boat is nearly there. From Den's description from his recent experience taking this trip, she surmises that it is Charon, Hell's Ferryman. Palming the coin in her left hand, she approaches the boat that is nearly ashore. She looks up to him and grins.
"Your fare Miss?" The Ferryman inquires. Julie shows the Denari coin up to him long enough for him to recognize it and then palms it again and holds it behind her back. "Ah, friend or foe of Dorion's?"
"A very close and personal friend, Charon," she replies slowing her response to add emphasis to each word as she approaches him closely and smiles seductively to him,"enough to know about the deal you struck with him."
"Are you looking for the same thing, Miss Jule?"
Julie, shaking her head, "No, just take me to the other side. She is waiting for me."
"Not until I have both feet firmly on the embankment on the other side, Charon. I may be dumb but I'm not stupid."
"Very well, but no 'La Giaconda' from me this evening," the Ferryman replies.
"Good! I hate opera," she laughs as Charon uses the pole against the shore to push off.
Jule sits down facing him, tucking her legs beneath her and looks across the water. Just underneath the surface, she sees the faces of the dead peering back at her.
"Your first trip, Miss?"
"Yeah, usually I get the express trip down to the Fifth Hell when I come to visit," she replies as she looks back at the shore she was standing on before. It seems with each stroke, Charon took, the shore was slowly disappearing from her view. When it had fully left her sight, the gondola stopped.
"Fare miss?" Julie, turning her head, expected to see the other shore that they were heading to only a few yards away but in fact, it was just as foggy. All around her, she could only see the river around the boat. They must be at least halfway across by now. Julie shows the coin to him again but pulls it back before he can take it.
"Not till the other side," she mockingly cajoles him.
"Alright, alright," Charon grumbles, "Definitely one of Dorion's friends. That's for sure. There's no fooling you."
"A very close and personal friend," she adds, "and he would not be very happy if you dumped me in the middle of the river, especially if I have an appointment to keep." He grudgingly complies and continues once again to push the gondola towards the other shore.
The gondola taking Julie to the other side finally ran aground. She got up and stepped out, letting each manicured foot touch the ashen beach as Charon held her right hand. Turning around, she extended her left palm with the coin still in it out to the Ferryman.
"You got off easy, sir," as she watched him take the coin and put it in his pocket, "You haven't seen me in a Payless Shoes Store during a Christmas in July sale."
"There are some things in this world or the next that I am afraid to imagine. That is one of them. Enjoy the rest of your journey."
"Thanks Charon," Jule giggles in response, "and say hello to Den when you see him next for me?"
"I will, miss ... if I remember."
She watches him push the boat off and as she turns to head down the path, she stops in her tracks and looks back at the Ferryman for the last time. She smiles as she recognizes the acapella music coming over the water. It was Charon's version of Il Devos's cover of Toni Braxton's "Unbreak my Heart". She winces as he hits each note off key. Apparently, cruel and unusual punishment now starts at the Styx.
As she starts to walk away from the river, she thinks back on her final moments of her life. She had finished assisting Denarii with defeating Mako and his minions for Arbiter Daos. She was actually hoping he would appear himself when he came to make the arrest. She wanted so much to rip a piece of his hide for putting her in a similar predicament by forcing her to betray Ghost Widow, the patron that Lilith had selected for her to assist in the next phase of her training in the arts of black magick. Daos, however, never appeared and as soon as she walked out of the cave, she found herself not under Sharkhead's clay sky but in front of Lilith and Asmodeus in their court of the Fifth Hell.
Julie, upon first instinct kneels before them, making sure her eyes do not meet their gazes. She felt as if millions were watching her at this moment as she stayed frozen before them. She was petrified.
"Heaven hath no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned" -- William Shakespeare
The pair were an intimidating couple to behold. While some may have seen and known her by her Sumerian name, Lilitu, when working for Mu Magus in the Rogue Isles, Lilith looked very much like the succubi you see there except that her skin was black and she had fiery, red eyes. She was scantily clad with her silky, raven-black hair cascading down her shoulders. On her forehead, two small horns protruded. As for Asmodeus, the eight foot six crimson-coloured muscular frame was an awesome sight to see even while sitting down.He had a ram's head with accompanying set of fully grown horns; red fiery eyes like Lilith's; black fur covering his hips and thighs and finally, a pair of cloven feet. His hands were huge with large, thick claws of bone protruding from each fingertip.
"Childe, you have greatly disappointed us," the demoness started as she looked down upon Julie. "After all that we have done for you, did you not think we could protect you from Lord Recluse? Did you not have enough faith in us that we had your best interests in mind? Was it really necessary to betray us ...," Lilith stopped in mid-sentence as her ire increased exponentially. Asmodeus, rests his hand upon her arm but Lilith pulls it away indignantly, evidently not wanting to be comforted. She continues to speak forcefully but evenly, "Ghost Widow, as she is bound to Lord Recluse, stays her hand to spare your life, only because her Master wishes it so. I, on the other hand, am not so merciful." With the wave of her hand, Lilith summons forth a plethora of imps as they appear before her and Asmodeus in the court. Thanatos also appears on cue with sword in hand.
"Julie Johnson in payment for your deceit, betrayal and treachery, you shall receive the punishment of death..."
"But the deal with the Beekeeper for Gabriel's life ..." Julie interjects.
"... has been now revoked. Honestly, Julie. The man left you to go back to his wife. Is it really worth the cost of redemption to still honour that promise after he broke his to you?"
"Yes," she whispered, "because I still love him."
"Well, it doesn't matter as you'll die anyway. And don't think you're spending eternity here. When you return here Julie, you'll learn of what your new fate will be." Lilith, then turns her attention to Thanatos,"After you return with her back to the material plane, finish her off. Oh and take the imps with you."
"Yes, m'lady," Thanatos replies dutifully.
With another wave of her hand as Lilith and Asmodeus leave the court, Julie finds herself again somewhere on the Rogue Isles where three scores of tiny demons with sharp, claws and teeth en masse swiftly descend upon Julie's body. Tearing away at her pink Dolce & Gabbana dress to get at her flesh with wild abandon, they shred it to pieces instantly. Julie tries to fend them off with her legs and arms but cannot as the swarm starts to tear off pieces of her skin and flesh. Julie finds a nearby rock and begins to smash her head against it to knock herself out.
Thanatos recalls the imps off and with his sword plunges it deep into her lungs. She psychically screams in pain and terror. Her closest friends, Den and Rhia hear her but cannot locate her. Thanatos then teleports her to the second floor of Pocket D after slicing her head, leaving a gash on the right side of her head. Julie shrieks again and calls for help to those who responded. When asked by Den where she was, "D" was all she could send in reply.
"I'll leave you here to say goodbye but you're making the return trip on your own," Thanatos telepathically informs her, "I'll see you when you're back in the Netherworld." He disappears from her view, leaving her in a foetal position, gasping for breath.
Julie, now stops on the path she has been following for sometime, looks up when she hears the voice calls out from the fog, surrounding her. A figure slowly emerges from the shadows walking towards her along the riverbank. He calls out to her again in his soft Parisian accent.
"Juliet, ma petite cherie! Are you alright?"
As his face comes into view, Julie gasps as her jaw drops in amazement. "Serge?!"
((Loose translation located below for those that French-challenged. ;) ))
"Serge?! Is that really you or are you just an illusion?" Julie calls out to him as she starts to walk towards him.
"Juliet, non! Arret!" Serge tells her quickly before her left foot almost touches the ground which isn't part of the path. She stops and brings it back to the gravel on which she has been traveling on. "Tu dois marcher sur la rue seulement. C'est trop dangereux! Comprends?"
Julie looks at him curiously. "Pourquoi? Regarde, tu n'es pas plus loin de moi!"
"Attendez-la, s'il vous plait. Je vais venir a toi, d'accord?"
"D'accord, d'accord," Julie responds as she moves back towards the center of the path and waits for Serge to approach. "J'attenderai ici." She then rolls her eyes at him. He, seeing her expression, lets out a small chuckle.
"You know," Serge smiles as he places both feet on the path, "it feels like I haven't seen you in forever and at the same time, it feels like I had just seen you yesterday. Still, I have missed you." He then wraps his arms around her as Julie leans into him and slips her arms around his waist, resting her head upon his chest. She had been waiting a long time for this moment.
"Oh Serge! Why are you here? I mean, in the back of my mind, I always hoped to see you in the Fifth Hell with Lilith. However, you haven't been there at all when I have been summoned. Where have you been?"
"Ahh, Juliet," he replies with his Parisien accent after gingerly kissing the top of her head. "Well, it seems that I have been more of a sinner of good food and wine. If it weren't for the bullet to kill me, it would have been Madame Trousseau's cooking ... all those rich sauces, bien sur!"
"Mais certainement! I told you if you had stayed with me instead of in France, you would eating much more healthily."
"Ahhh but I was!" Serge pats his side where a small paunch was. Julie, groans, and pinches his love handles.
" That's not what I meant," Julie, looks up into his smiling face and grins back at him. "Still, it must be difficult living in the Third Hell, Serge. Always being hungry but never the satisfaction of feeling full, sort of like eating Chinese and being hungry an hour later."
"It's worse than that, ma cherie. Think of those sharks that are always swimming around, feeling hungry. No matter what or how much they eat."
Julie sighs heavily in response.
"No, ... yes. It's just don't take this the wrong way, Serge. I am so happy to see you again. It's just I had finished fighting Mako, this shark-like warrior that my friend, Denarii had to betray much in the same manner I had to betray Ghost Widow. Like me, Den is hungry to be so much more which had led to his current situation that led him down here. I'm wondering if we have both paid too high a price for striving for our dreams."
Serge was about to answer when Julie raises her fingertips to his lips, "Mon cher, please allow me to finish. I feel I have left you down somehow. I started again with the drugs and became a slave again to the world of crime. I started to neglect my appearance and yes, I even wore black and started with the cutting again. I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough," she lowers her voice then almost to a whisper, "I don't think I would have bounced back this time." Jule then bites down her lower lip as she pulls her arms away from him and lets her gaze fall to focus on the ground before her.
"Juliet, you made Gabe your world and when he left, he took it with him. Such is the price of love when we risk it all. I'm proud of you because for you to allow yourself to open yourself like that after I had died showed great courage. Remember, like life, love is about balance. For every sigh of happiness, a tear must also be shed in sadness. To feel love with such intensity is worth the moments of ecstacy and grief. Our emotions inspire us; motivate us; and rock us out of our complacency and apathy. Otherwise, you are not living, ma chere. You are only merely existing, coasting along as it were." Serge, then offers his arm to her and she takes it as they start to travel down the path together, as it winds down further through the third plane of Hell.
"All the fear has left me now / I'm not frightened anymore.
It's my heart that pounds beneath my flesh.
it's my mouth that pushes out this breath
and if I shed a tear I won't cage it. I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it. I won't fear love."
-- [Fumbling towards ecstacy], Sarah McLachlan
(Warning: File is 9mb but contains two songs. Right click on the link above and select, "Save Target As")
"Juliet, No! Stop!" Serge tells her quickly before her left foot almost touches the ground which isn't part of the path. She stops and brings it back to the gravel on which she has been traveling. "You must walk on the road only. It's too dangerous! Understand?"
Julie looks at him curiously. "Why? Look, you're not that far from me!"
"Stay there, please. I will come to you, okay?"
"Okay, Okay," Julie responds as she moves back towards the center of the path and waits for Serge to approach. "I will stay here." She then rolls her eyes at him. He, seeing her expression, lets out a small chuckle. .... bien sur = Of course
Mais certainement! = But certainly!
While they travelled arm in arm along the path, Serge and Julie reminisced about the old days together back in L.A. It had been a wonderful time for them both as they had recalled many fond memories.
"Serge, I've been meaning to ask. Why did you make me promise to go to Croatoa of all places? I mean, you could have made me go to anywhere in the country or even anywhere in the world."
"Ah well, it was just off the top of my head, you know. As I read about the Cabalists, their isolated community, and their proximity to the spirit world, I thought it was a good idea to have you join a coven that wasn't associated with the Circle of Thorns. It wasn't so much the reason why you should go; it was because of the reason you shouldn't have stayed. As you figured out so cleverly," Serge reaches over and taps Julie's nose as she giggles, wrinkling her nose in response, "your old life of drugs and crime was just outside your door. I wanted you to follow your destiny and Lilith said that Croatoa would be a good start when I suggested it to her."
"Lilith?! Lilith let you send me to Croatoa?"
Serge nods. "Oui, ma cherie."
Julie could only shake her head in part disbelief.
"But look where we are now, Juliet? We're together again, Finally, after all this time!"
Julie looks up at him and smiles, "Oui, tu as vrai. I know now where to find you and hopefully, after I have regained Lilith's respect, I can get you transferred to the Fifth or even have you ..."
"Non, ma cherie. I belong here while you must move on. Our time has past and this reunion is almost over but we'll always have Venice, n'est-ce pas?"
"Serge, I've always loved you."
"Je connais. Every time you wore that little, pink Dolce & Gabbana outfit I bought for you, I knew that you were thinking of me. However, I am not blind to what has been going on ..."
"Serge, you're dead. You've been dead besides Sol, Gabe, and Den, ..."
"... are like me, chapters in your book of life. From each of them, you have grown and learned something new about the world around you and about yourself. I see in them, pieces of me you've been searching for but like them as you had done with me, it is time to move on and turn the page."
Julie goes silent for a moment and then stops walking. Turning to face Serge, she asks him quietly, "Do you know what Lilith has in store for me? Do you know how my story will end?"
"Non, my cherie. I do not since I have died and ended up here. Lilith and I don't speak to one another anymore. If fact, Beelzebub, the Lord of this realm, and I have been getting along quite famously," Julie chuckles softly as Serge continues,"I do know though you don't end up doing the butler." He then smiles and winks at her.
"Oh Serge!" Julie then punches him playfully in the arm. After doing so, her smile fades a bit and sighs wistfully, "I'm going to miss you. I'm going to miss all of you guys." Julie hugs herself while Serge puts his arms around her and holds her close.
"As I'm sure Den, me and the rest of us will miss you in our own little ways." Serge then rubs his bicep, "Juliet, you've been working out. I can tell. You've got a wicked left hook there."
Jule smiles to him in a mock condenscending manner, "Merci beaucoup," as they start walking again with their arms wrapped around each others' waists. Not saying much really except enjoying the comfortable silence and the sound of their footsteps together.
Search beyond the small scale
You'll find the map's true name
Although our routes take diff'rent paths,
The destination remains the same.
-- "Birds of a feather", Myridean, ©1997
After sometime, Serge stops and turns to her."Juliet, our time has come to an end. I must leave you now to travel the rest of your journey back to the Fifth Hell where Lilith will be waiting for you."
Julie starts to cry, "Non, Serge, venez avec moi."
"Je ne peux pas, ma cherie. The path ends for me here as it is the boundary to the Fourth Hell. If I take one more step, I shall fall into the Abyss. It is why I didn't allow you to come to me before. Otherwise, you would have fallen instead."
"What?! But the ground..."
"...is only an illusion. If you look closely," Serge then kneels down beside her and motion for her to also kneel down. She does so while watching him strangely as he puts his face close to the ground beside the path and pushes it quickly through. Julie gasps as Serge's head disappears from view, then reappears again as he brings it back up. "Now, it's your turn." She looks at him suspiciously then. "It's okay. Trust me."
Julie brings her face merely inches from the earth. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she plunges her head through the barrier. She opens her eyes then to only see fog around her except for the thin layer of gravel that Serge and Julie are kneeling on. The path floats suspended in mid-air. In the distance she hears a wind of what seems to be made of a million whispers speaking at once but is unable to recognize or pick out any individual voices or words spoken. She raises her head up and looks at Serge incredulously.
"Now, you can say truly that you have looked into the Abyss."
"Serge, it's, it's amazing and that thin layer is my path yet it is supporting us both right now?"
"Oui, and it is your path alone and no one else's. Like in life, you walk your own path at your own pace. It can be rocky or smooth as glass. At times, it will feel slippery like trying to walk on ice or thick as travelling through three feet of snow or water. There will be times as well that the gravel becomes a path of broken glass or of hot, fiery coals or luckily, even a red plush carpet, "Serge then grins back at her, "But it is your path although you can have as many people as you like to accompany you along the way." He then stands up and offers his hand to Julie to help her get up on her feet.
"Merci, Serge for keeping me company during this leg of the trip. It was so good to see you again although now that we're here I feel like I don't want to go on. I just want to be here, with you. I've lost you once before and I don't want to lose you again."
"But, ma cherie, as I said before, as long as you think of me, I will be with you as I ever have since you left L.A. and ended up in the Isles. I will be with you in spirit as you travel now on your way. For you are the key to my immortality. You should go and find out what your destiny will be."
"Au revoir, Serge." She slides her arms around his waist and brings him close to her for the final time.
"Au revoir, Juliet. Je t'aimerai toujours." He hugs her tightly in return and then brings her chin up so her face can look into his and bends down to kiss her tenderly. She closes her eyes as the tears begin to roll down her cheeks.
"Je connais," she whispers, "parce que je t'aime aussi." She reluctantly lets go and focuses on the path ahead of her.
"Stay on the path, Juliet. It will only get harder to walk upon as you reach your destination." She nods in response and starts to walk away from him. She stops after taking a few steps and looks back over her shoulder to wave farewell yet he is already gone.
Letting out a heavy sigh, she wipes the tears from her eyes with her hands and continues to walk into the Fourth Hell.
As I walk this path which has turned into an uphill climb for me now on what I like to call the Plane of Perpetual Dangling Carrots or also known as the Fourth Hell for Sinners of Greed, Avarice, Covetousness, and Rapacity, I can't help but look back on my choices and the consequences that came along with those decisions. Had I never been introduced to Lilith or to my talent for black magick by Serge, I would have probably ended my journey here years ago. Afterall, once I found the easy road of using my body to get what I wanted, then it was only a matter of finding the right guy at the right time who could get me what I wanted which usually involved money. It was my way to get the beautiful clothes, the nice place, the jewelry, but mostly the power and control to live my life the way I wanted to. I wanted that freedom to choose.
Heaven Bend to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight
Truth be told I tried my best
But somewhere long the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
But the cost was so much more than I could bear
In a nutshell, I had learned from an early age on how a girl can get almost what she wants if she knows how to apply her makeup. I was an early developer so I learned that my blonde locks, turquoise eyes and sweet smile weren't the only features the boys liked. Their eyes, well, seemed to be focused on my budding chest as well as my long legs and I used those assets fully to my advantage. When I wanted something and I wasn't happy about it, I picked up quickly the fact that nobody likes a pretty, little girl in tears. I was your typical, spoiled brat who should have gotten more spankings than ice cream cones.
However, when I ended up in the Rogue Isles, I wasn't going to take that route again. There was no way I was going to start over at the bottom with the hooking and drugs. A girl needs to eat and have a roof over her head but it was too much to handle the first time for me back in L.A. Still, I can't help but wonder now as I've made it so far now for me to be personally saved by Lord Recluse how many people I've killed to earn a living. Who knows? Maybe after seeing Lilith, I'll still end up here.
The Fourth Hell is really about what you want and what you can't have because as I've learned the hard way, you just can't have it all. This fall for me started with a single kiss from my guardian angel after I learned he was developing feelings for another woman who wasn't his wife. The temptation for me was just too great. He may have been the one to have fallen first but I didn't want my best friend to fall alone, especially since I had been crushing on him from afar ever since I had started the Daughters. It was soon after that I began to lose all the things I ever wanted or had gained: respect, love, happiness, friendship, peace and finally hope.
We all begin out with good intent
When love is raw and young
We believe that we can change ourselves
The past can be undone
But we carry on our back the burdens time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
In the wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
I've held so dear
"Was it worth the price?" Mammon shouts over to me from across the plane as he approaches me. As the Lord of the Fourth Hell who looks like one of the Darkwolves I killed once in a Council base, he's been the one throughout time to bring greed to people's hearts so it wouldn't be unlike him to have been reading my thoughts while I travelled through his realm.
"I don't know, we'll have to wait and see what Lilith has in store for me," I smile back at him, "It's just what I wanted didn't make me a villain; it made me human because what person doesn't want to be loved; to be respected; and to be happy?"
"And what do you want now Julie?" He tosses me three dog biscuits while I pet Cerberus' three heads in turn at the Gate to the Fifth Hell. He should though already know my answer: I just wanted it now to be all over.
I feed Cerberus the biscuits while Mammon opens the huge gate for me. Stepping on through, he bids me farewell and good luck.
Heaven bend to take my hand
I've nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to these I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turn their heads embarrassed
Pretend that they don't see
That it's one wrong misstep, one slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem away to be redeemed
Though I've tried I've fallen
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here and
Tell me I told you so
[Fallen] -- Sarah Mclachlan
((GrandInquisitor asked me to post this log of some separate RP in connection to Julie's death. Rex, I hope you don't mind that I put some context with the log to help explain things a little better to the outsider. :D))
back in the material world, Rex and Kassi meet up at the Pocket D as Rex had promised to Denarii to bring Julie back. It was the only hope that kept the group after witnessing her death in the D, the week before from plunging into a great depression.
Rex and Kassi had been planning for days but they needed one more to come with them. Sean, who had also witnessed Julie's death with them, had taken off very shortly after he received the cold shoulder from Rex and hadn't spoken to him since.
Once again, it seemed even in death, Julie was somehow the catalyst for breaking up another friendship or relationship. However, news of this rescue would reunite these two brothers soon.
Tarot Star: Yeah...
GrandInquisitor: Kassi, we need to go get ready.
Tarot Star: I have most of the stuff ready for the trip that I'll need. Is Sean still going with us?
GrandInquisitor: I haven't seen him since she died.
Tarot Star: You still need to apologize for blowing him off like that too.
GrandInquisitor: I know I do. But it's hard when you don't see a guy.
Tarot Star: Yeah, I know.. I think he's been really busy in the Isles with Rei. She finally finished her training and I put a sigil on her to hide the kheld signature and stuff
Tarot Star: So... your place first or mine?
GrandInquisitor: Yours. You need your spells.
Tarot Star: Well most of my spells are in my head, but I'll need a few odds and ends.
GrandInquisitor nods, "Sounds good."
After travelling to Kassi's apartment on Talos Island, Tarot Star walks into her library and starts going through the leather backpack sitting on her desk "Bubblegum.. physics textbook.. notebook... athame.."
"Wait, one thing before we go," GrandInquisitor pulls her close kissing her passionately. Tarot Star turns to looks at him, grinning as he pulls her close and kisses him fiercely.
GrandInquisitor: I love you so much.
Tarot Star: I love you too, Rex..
"You realized we are engaged right?" GrandInquisitor smiles brightly.
Tarot Star grins happily and nods, "Amazing.. isn't it?"
GrandInquisitor: It is. I feel like I'm floating.
Tarot Star: I know.. I have too. I don't think I've ever been so happy in my entire life.
GrandInquisitor smiles brightly. "Hurry up, Sean is heading to the D," GrandInquisitor grins.
Tarot Star laughs and dumps out the backpack, putting the athame back in along with a while stack of cloth-wrapped vials. She reaches up into thin air and plucks the glowing stone Ash gave her for her birthday and putting it in too "Might come in handy. There.. all packed!"
Back at the D at the appointed time, Rex and Kassi meet up with Sean Murphy and begin the process of reconciliation. When they arrive, they have noticed a drastic change in Sean's appearance as he doesn't look so human anymore.
Sean Murphy: Ello Rex. Kassi.
Tarot Star: Hey, Sean.. er.. Cian??
GrandInquisitor: Sean, what happened?
"No," Sean Murphy chuckles, "Arco just finished the binding ritual... Cian will bother me no more. I found myself."
Tarot Star: Where's Rei? I ran into her just before I came to meet Rex.
Sean Murphy: X'tanna was upset over something, she needed to go calm her... she wanted you to replace the wards.
Tarot Star: Yeah, I did.
Sean Murphy: Well then i do not know where she is.
GrandInquisitor looks between the two.
Tarot Star: We found a flaw in the spell I was using.. X'Tanna was locked away so tightly she couldn't tell what was going on and Rei couldn't talk to her.
GrandInquisitor is at a loss for words.
Sean Murphy nods, "Sounds like what Arco did to Cian Chullain."
Tarot Star slips her hand into Rex's and smiles.
GrandInquisitor squeezes her hand.
Sean Murphy: Ah. Wonder why she hasn't called me or shown up yet then? She said she would come back once she had that taken care of.
Tarot Star: Those shadow abilities she's manifesting under the spell might have a bit of a kheld signature now, so keep an eye on her.
Sean Murphy nods, "You don't need to tell me to do that."
Tarot Star: I know, Sean.. she's my friend though and I worry.
Sean Murphy nods.
GrandInquisitor: Sean, we need your help.
Sean Murphy: So you want my help now?
GrandInquisitor: I always wanted your help, but I didn't want to lose my best friend for it.
Tarot Star, telepathically sends a message to Rex, "Don't forget to aplogize for being an ass". Rex replies in kind, "I won't."
Sean Murphy: You need to stop treating everyone as if they are weaker than you Rex, it's demeaning and insulting.
GrandInquisitor: I love you like a brother, and the thought of losing you.....it was not worth the risk to me.
GrandInquisitor: Sean, where we are going, mortals can't come back from.
Sean Murphy: Do I look mortal to you?
Tarot Star pats her pocket to make sure that her supplies are still there.
GrandInquisitor: You did before.
GrandInquisitor: Your holding me accountable for something I couldn't have known?
Sean Murphy: Even still... you never said where you where going, you only said I would die. I offered my aid and you brushed me off like some rookie. I left, angry and hurt. I wanted to help you, but you wouldn't let me, didn't want me to.
GrandInquisitor puts his hand on his shoulder, "I didn't have a chance to tell you."
Sean Murphy shrugs off his hand, "Didn't have a chance?"
GrandInquisitor: To tell you where we were going.
Tarot Star chews on her bottom lip and stares at the decking, wanting to make things better between them, but knowing that they have to work it out on their own.
GrandInquisitor: Sean, of course I wanted you to come.
Sean Murphy: You had a chance, you could have came after me, you could have called me, you could have said why before telling me I couldn't come, why I couldn't help my best friend.
GrandInquisitor: I still do, we need you. I did call for you.
Sean Murphy: Don't you lie, I never got any call.
GrandInquisitor: I didn't use the phone, I yelled for you before you left.
Sean Murphy: ...
GrandInquisitor: I tried to get you back.....but it was too late.
Tarot Star: We did try to find you, Sean.. but you'd already left.
Sean Murphy: Yes, you tried very hard indeed.
GrandInquisitor looks at the ground, "Sean, you took off the ring".
Sean Murphy: All it would have taken was three minutes... one phone call... but no, I was left without any clue for three days while I battled with Cian for control. Why would I wear it?
GrandInquisitor: Because you're my brother. No matter how stupid I am.
Sean Murphy: I would have broken the ring if I could, Cian almost won out by using it, my pain, my grief at my... brother, my brother who I thought so highly of rejecting me. I was almost lost.
GrandInquisitor: I never rejected you. I had no idea you were lost.
Tarot Star: Sean.. if we'd known what was going on with you we would have helped any way we could.. like the day I found you and you collapsed...
Sean Murphy: You rejected my help, cast doubt on my abilities, I have been called unstoppible by the vanguard, unkillible and here my own brother refuses my aid.. you may have had your reasons but you never shared them.
GrandInquisitor: I......you're right.
Sean Murphy: Yes you helped Kassi, and I am grateful for you.
GrandInquisitor: I failed you. For that, I don't think I can ever apologize enough.
Sean Murphy: I have fought all my life, it is who I am. And to have my abilites talked down to, there are few greater insults.
GrandInquisitor: Sean, it wasn't your abilities. It was never that. In a fight, there is no one I would want at my back more than you.
Sean Murphy: Why couldn't you have told me these things?
"I'm trying to do that now," GrandInquisitor looks to Kassi for support.
"I don't know if you are too late." Sean Murphy looks at the ring in his hand.
GrandInquisitor: It's never too late if we care about each other.
Tarot Star: Sean.. even family occasionally fucks up..
"Family..." Sean Murphy nods, "You mind telling me what it is you failed to do before?"
Tarot Star: It... it's not that he doesn't love and respect you. Rex had just lost his sister and he wasn't thinking straight and he didn't want to lose you too. He tried to stop me too, but I'm more stubborn than he is.
GrandInquisitor: We are going through the River Styx, to the Fifth Hell.
Sean Murphy shakes his head, "I would have followed you to hell and back, immortal or not."
Tarot Star: It's not the following that'd be a problem... it's the coming back.
GrandInquisitor: Sean, I had just lost my sister, the thought of losing my brother too........
Sean Murphy: I've been doing the impossible all my life, if there is anyone who would defy the rules of hell... it'd be me... and as it turns out I actually would have... I'm not mortal.
Sean Murphy: Alright, what did you need me for?
GrandInquisitor: You're coming with us.
Sean Murphy: To?
Tarot Star: Figures it'd take an immortal to get Rei out of her shell..
"To get Julie back. I need your help. Just like it took an immortal to tame you Kassi?" GrandInquisitor winks at her.
Sean Murphy: Oh.. so you where going to bring me even before you found out I was immortal? So now you're okay with loosing me to the River Styx... that just figures... I'll tell you where you can shove this ring!
Sean Murphy grins, "Kidding..."
Sean Murphy: I'm in.
Tarot Star: Still don't know why she went there.. if anyone doesn't deserve Hell, it's Julie..
Sean Murphy puts the ring on.
"She made a deal with Lilith. We are stealing her from a godess, GrandInquisitor grins.
Tarot Star: Hey, he's taking me and I -am- mortal!! I just happen to be better than the average mage..
Sean Murphy: Let's go show hell just how much they want to make sure we end up in heaven...
GrandInquisitor chuckles, "Amen."
GrandInquisitor smiles at Sean,"So, you're immortal eh?"
"He's taking you because he knew they wouldn't want to keep you... who would want someone more stubborn than Rex," Sean Murphy grins.
Tarot Star laughs
Sean Murphy: Aye... I'll tell you later... Julie needs us.
Once the reconciliation was complete, talk turned to another matter, a personal one for Rex and Kassi. They wanted to share the good news with him.
GrandInquisitor: Kassi, show him what I gave you.
"Plus I want to get back to spend time with Rei tonight", Sean Murphy winks.
GrandInquisitor: We don't leave till tomorow.
Sean Murphy: Ah.
GrandInquisitor: I just needed to make sure your on board. Besides, Kassi and I still need to celebrate."
Sean Murphy: Aye ... we leaven bright an early?
GrandInquisitor: I think so.
Sean Murphy: Aye, I guess I'll head off to see Rei before we leave... even if we are immortal... there are risks.
Tarot Star drags her hand up with the other as if it weighs a ton and shows Sean the huge four carat diamond ring on her left hand, "He weighed me down with a freakin boulder!!"
"We'll be fine methinks," GrandInquisitor winks.
Sean Murphy: Hmm... ye know if ye had that on yer hand and punched me hard enough.... you might actually break the skin...
GrandInquisitor smiles softly at Kassi, "Love, can I see that ring?"
Sean Murphy: Docs needed a diamond coated needle ta take my book.
GrandInquisitor: Yeah? Tarot Star slips the ring off and hands it to Rex, "Sure, Love."
GrandInquisitor takes the ring and grins at Sean, "Sean, she said she'd marry me."
GrandInquisitor looks at the ring.
Sean Murphy: Congrats.
"Foolish on her part I think," GrandInquisitor winks.
Tarot Star: Rex.. you are NOT getting me a bigger diamond!!!
GrandInquisitor takes her hand and slides the ring on her finger, kissing her softly.
Sean Murphy: Aye, kinda sudden I think but hey, if that's what you two want.
"It is." GrandInquisitor touches her cheek, "More then anything."
Sean Murphy: Well you two go celebrate.
GrandInquisitor grins at Sean.
Tarot Star smiles as he slides the ring back on her finger and kisses him tenderly.
((Thanks so much guys for doing this, btw. Excellent RP! :D))
((So, after writing this little novella, I figure I would add try to add a soundtrack to it. I'm hoping this works. Some of these files are really long, by the way. You can either click or right-click on the links and save the files ahead of time and listen to them as you go along. I have also compiled it as a separate playlist that is approximately 27 minutes in length. Hope you enjoy it. The last chatlog will be added sometime tomorrow. Once again my apologies for taking so long.))
After stepping through the gate, the path disappeared from her view to reveal instead a field of mud. Torchieres littered the landscape far as the eye could see. On the Plane of Perpetual Night, they were the only major source of light -- once dead however one's eyes would get accustomed to the darkness. At the top of the hill, Julie stood taking in the view from what seemed to be now for the final time with her journey nearly over.
[Crucify (Live version)] - Tori Amos
"Home sweet home," she whispered, "or not." As she started her downward descent into the valley, she tried to keep her footing as best she could so that she wouldn't fall into the mud. Feeling it squish between her toes with every step she took, she slowed her pace down to allow the suction enable her to be more sure-footed. If only she had someone to keep her company till she arrived at the Lord and Lady's doorstep. Even Pye...," she wondered to herself. All of a sudden, she hear coming up from behind her a voice.
"Hey, now! Stop that! Cut that out!" A hooded figure while approaching Julie swishes at the air about him, hooting and hollering, basically carrying on. "No, none of that. Not till you buy me dinner first! I said, stop trying to poke me!"
Julie giggles as her eyes widen and smiles as she watches Pyrewraith moves quickly to her side. "Pye! What are you doing here?" She throws her arms around him only to hug nothing but air.
"Astral projection, m'lady. As for my appearance, well, it seems you called me here."
"I didn't think I had any power or connection back to the material world. Still, … " she smiles to him, "thank you for coming. I take it this is your first trip to the Fifth Hell?"
Pyre nods in response, "Yeah, What is all around us, m'lady?"
"What do you see?"
"Hands! Lots and lots of hands," he replies as he continues to try to push them away. "In fact, you're all covered in them."
Julie giggles again a bit. There's a hot wind in the Fifth Hell, made of unseen hands that caresses every part of one's body. Julie, at that moment had hands touching her naked flesh from the neck down. Up until this point of her journey, she had been travelling naked as all souls of dead people do but this is the first plane where you are reminded that you have a body or a sensual residual self-image. If travelling ethereally as Pyrewraith had done, you can actually watch this wind move about randomly across the plane.
Normally, Julie would enjoy these windstorms on this plane. She would spend time out here after being summoned by Lilith or open a portal and travel here on her own to recharge her batteries so to speak. She used to relish in this heightened sense of desire and sexual arousal, as the passion would help fuel her sex magick and the rest of her sorcery. It was the source of her self-empowerment and also of any woman or man who uses charisma. It comes not in the form of a body spray as many perfume companies like people to believe but rather from within. The fact that women can master it better still intimidates some men.
"It comes with the territory, Pye," she sighs. "Normally, I wouldn't mind getting hot and bothered but today, it's just getting me sexually frustrated."
"Why's that, m'lady?" She can sense he probably grinning under that mask of his.
"Because it just reminds me of how fuckin' alone I feel now. No offence, Pye, but you're just not my type."
"Regrettably so, m'lady."
"Pye, I think that you're here with me now, you can drop the formalities. You can just call me Julie, you know?"
"Yes, m'lady," Pye responds as Julie sighs and shakes her head.
"Very well, would you like the express tour of our Sodom?"
"Walk with me then."
They continue to make their way down when after only a few steps, Julie stops in her tracks and exhales loudly. Pyre, who is still swatting at the hundreds of hands that are trying to caress, grope, and pinch him, stops as well.
"I'm sorry. I can't continue the journey like this."
"But I just got here!"
"No, no Pye! Not you. It's them!" she says as she motions up and down her body. Julie then starts to chant slowly and looks down at a platinum-coloured ring on her right hand. A dim light starts to emanate forth from it, covering Julie and Pyre in a white light. The wind of unseen hands dies down around them and they both let out a sigh of relief.
"I thought you didn't have any power in this realm?"
"I don't but I can channel another's," she responds as she holds up the ring in front of her.
"Whose power would that be?"
"It's Rex's," she smiles happily, "I wasn't even sure it would work."
"Why would you say that?"
"Because I wasn't sure if he still loved me or not. The last time I saw him I was in pretty, bad shape. I had started using again and when he tried to purge the heroin from me, I recoiled from him. Denarii tried to intervene and when Rex learned that I had called him to help me, he let go of me and this ring disappeared from my hand for a while. I think he truly wished me dead at that moment and I wouldn't blame him one bit for thinking it."
"Is he your new boyfriend now that Gabe is gone?"
"No, he's my brother." She replies grinning, "Well, my adopted brother of sorts. He adopted me shortly after Gabe and I broke up when I was staying with him and Amanda.
"I see sayeth the blind man,"
"… to the deaf woman. In fact, the spell I did use I taught myself after I saw Gabe use part of his empathic abilities to physically manifest his feelings for me into an aura of white light. Whenever I really needed to feel and see his love for me while we were apart from each other, I would focus on that memory and the light would appear and give me comfort. I would have tried it again except that I don't think it would have been good enough, considering the circumstances. It wouldn't have been pure enough."
Pyre looks at her rather inquisitively as Julie continues, "Rex is an angel whose empathic link I have to him is of a brotherly love, nature, thing."
"Ah okay. And that is what that Jesus fellow was trying to preach about over two thousand years ago?"
Pyre watches the hands fade back into the darkness as they both travel further into the Fifth Plane with her, explaining in detail to him what he was seeing around him.
"The domain of the Fifth Hell is lust. It's where sinners of the flesh end up, for those who indulge in sexual activity or too much of it. These people include witches like myself who practice sex magick; sirens, both screen and real; catgirls; succubi and incubi; prostitutes, escorts and fetishists; FCC officials and the entire porn industry, of course..."Julie then points out to Pyre in the distance on his right, a replica of the Playboy mansion. "See? They're already getting Hugh Hefner's place ready for him when he arrives. And I was so looking forward to being a Playboy bunny in the afterlife, "she says while pouting, "Oh well. As you can see though I can probably go on and on here with the list quite easily."
In the firelight, Pyre can recognize figures in all sorts of sexual positions gathered as either couples or larger groups in various stages of foreplay and or coitus. "Funny, they don't look like they're suffering to me."
"Well, sure, you can exist in a continuous state of being turned on. You just, well, you know can't get off or come down to relax. Incubi are ready at the drop of a hat to have sex and I mean any hat. That's why they travel to the material planes. They need release of that frustration and they come to our world to get it."
Pyre stops for a moment in his tracks. Amidst the sighs of pleasure, groans and moans, he hears the sounds of animals. Listening carefully, he can sheep bah-ing. His red eyes brighten considerably and looks to Julie. "Is that what I think I hear?!"
"Yeah, it seems any place I've visited there's a Little Italy in it. Some of Marcone's are into screwing lambs. One of them told me that it was something about the soft, wool..." her voice drifts for a second and then, "Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about seeing any of that right now. They're all still celebrating that their country is in the FIFA World Cup final," she smirks and winks back at him.
Pyre can only shake his head. He hears some goats’ nay-ing from the other side of the plane but refrains from asking her, deciding to change the subject instead. "I heard from Jen that she overheard in the D that Rex was planning a rescue. I don't know if they attempted it yet or not."
Julie shakes her head, "No, not yet," and looks at the angelic symbols on her ring that she's been still holding in front of her. "The signal has been getting weaker as I travel lower, away from the heavenly planes but it's been a difficult time for Rex. I swear though I thought I felt a glimmer of hope there. How's Jen by the way?"
Pyre hesitates a bit before he replies, "I have some bad news on that front, I'm afraid. Le Saboteur and Adjutant Viper were caught and arrested in Bloody Bay after they were set up by some members of the Silver Guard."
Julie frowns a bit and exhales a heady breath, "Any idea which members were involved?" Pyre shakes his head slowly.
"Damn! Viper was one of our acting leaders I've left in charge of the Daughters since I had a hunch that something was going to happen to me," Julie stops to run her fingers through her hair and sighs heavily, "Perfect timing though, you have to admit. Pye, I want you to protect and help Princess Clockwork anyway that you can. Find a way to get them out of the Zig if possible."
"Yes, m'lady," On the hillsides, Pyre notices that the white light that has been enveloping them and illuminating their way has caught some attention from quite a few onlookers. He leans in and asks her quietly, "Jules, do you know what's going to happen or where'll you might end up when this is all over?"
"Not a clue, Pye, not a friggin' clue."
After sometime, they stop in front of this palace lit up with fire. Julie begins to climb the stairs and stops when she realizes Pyre is still following her. With a few words, the light disappears from her ring. She turns to smile sadly to him.
"Pyrewraith, I know you feel obliged maybe even you want to stay by my side but I must ask you to return."
"Yes, ... Hey, you said my name correctly!"
Julie smiles a little more, "It's the least I can do for my servant. Thank you Pyre for your service, loyalty and most of all for your companionship. When you return, tell my friends, family and my team that I will miss them. Give Mary a hug for me please?"
"I shall, m'lady."
As Julie makes her way to the door, she turns and blows Pyre a goodbye kiss. He waves farewell in return and fades into the darkness to return to the material world.
[Lust (Live)] - Tori Amos
The door opens mysteriously without the aid of any creature or mechanical device, beckoning Julie to enter. She steps across the threshold and into a long hallway of polished black marble walls and black granite floors, leading to the court. Trying to clean the mud off her feet without much luck, she slowly meanders while gazing upon each colourful mural she passes. The images in procession tell a story Julie knew well -- Lilith's history, covering her beginning living in Eden to now living in the Fifth Hell.
Lilith left paradise after refusing to lie beneath Adam, choosing instead to make her own path in this world. Then, after falling in love with Asmodeus, Lord of the Fifth Hell, Adam wanted Lilith back and asked Yahweh to bring her back to him. So, He sent three angels who threatened to kill one hundred of her children a day if she didn't return to Paradise. However, she chose to stay with the fallen angel she loved.
Julie gasps and reaches up with her left hand towards the mural after she recognizes herself in the picture. It slowly dawns on her that like her patron mother she too gave up everything for the fallen angel she loved. Only this time, it had been tragically too late, as her fallen angel now loves someone else as well.
"Ironic, isn't it?" She looks over to find Asmodeus standing beside her, speaking softly in Demonic. Looking down at her, he pats her shoulder reassuringly as she could only nod her head in response. He then bends down to pick her up into his arms while she places her head on his shoulder. He holds her close for a moment and then puts her gently down. "Come, she's been waiting for you. It'll be all over soon."
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls." - E. H. Chapin
[Uru Live - D'ni Gallery Theme] by Tim Larkin
Julie recomposes herself and with her head held high, she follows him down a corridor after passing the court she was in before. They enter a room, which appears to be a Roman bath with Minoan pictographs of sensual images containing people making love. She recalls Serge making her watch a documentary about the Minoan ruins found in the Mediterranean Sea on the Discovery Channel years ago.
Lilith stands by the pool that is currently being quietly filled with blood from a font overhead. She begins to speak as Julie is led down the steps towards the bottom of the nearly empty bottom pool.
"In restitution for your treachery, you have lost your freedom to choose. Your soul shall be bound to me and all who serve me loyally for eternity after it is released from its mortal shell. At Ghost Widow's request when she is ready for you, she will bind your spirit to her will and you will comply with her demands. You shall drown, Julie, in the blood of all those whom you have killed while residing in the Rogue Isles." While she continues to speak, Thanatos enters the room with his chains and begins to wrap them around Julie's body. "Your body will be preserved here at the bottom of the pool. It's rather fitting, don't you think? After all, the money you killed for so you could afford your weekly spa treatments, designer label clothing, and your Hollywood lifestyle to keep yourself young and beautiful would have even made Lady Bathory proud of your shallowness. Have you any last words for your patron mother, Julie?"
[Red Rain Live] - Tori Amos
Julie, at this point, could only smile as her arms were crossed over her chest. The chains were massively heavy and not only had restrained her but also weakened her immensely. However, they also provided a column of support by which she could rely upon on keeping herself upright. As the level of the blood continued to rise in the pool, she pounds three times with her right hand above her left breast as she looked directly at Lilith for the first time and starts to speak in Latin.
"Confiteor quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" *
Lilith arches her eyebrow as she watches Julie being showered and splashed with blood. "But are you sorry for betraying me?"
"I have absolutely no regrets save for one."
"And what is that, my childe?"
"I should have spent more time with Den."
Lilith sighs heavily in frustration. As she begins to leave the room, the pool starts to fill quickly now. Julie collapses and goes under. Within moments, she dies of asphyxiation at the bottom of the pool. Lilith looks over her shoulder one last time after she senses Julie's demise.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry you feel that way."
- The Confiteor is not a confession but an admission of one’s flawed nature. The pounding of the left breast over the heart is to emphasize the sinful nature of being simply human. This is only a part of the full prayer made at final confession for those who are Catholic.
English translation “I confess that I have sinned exceedingly In thought, word and deed: Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”
Tarot Star after some extensive provisions and spellcasting opens safely a portal from her apartment in Talos to the Fifth Hell. After stepping through, GrandInquisitor, Sean Murphy and Tarot Star find themselves in a very dark realm of perpetual night without any clothes except for the rings and magical artifacts that Kassi has brought with her.
Looking across the plane, they see torches alit all over the place lighting up the distant muddy hillsides all around them. Figures can be seen in the distance some standing, some sitting and some, well, doing what comes naturally in the Netherworld's domain of Lust.
As the portal behind them closes, they focus on a huge palance about half a mile ahead of them that is all aglow from the pyres that have been set outside. Considering this is the largest structure on the plane so prominently featured. Rex, recognizes it quickly enough that it is Asmodeus' and Lilith's castle.
Sean Murphy: “Ní dhoirtfear fuil neamhchiontach choíche. Ach sruthóidh fuil na n-olc mar abhainn. Leathfaidh an triúr a n-eiteoga dubhaithe agus beidh siad ina chasúr buailte Dé…” his words echo as his voice darkens, becoming rich and malevolent, terrible and beautiful; a sound that would give a mortal man nightmares and yet make him cry for joy at hearing it. *
As he speaks his form ripples like water, he seems to gather the light around him and snuff it out, emanating only shadows. He grows taller, stronger, twisted in appearance, a living nightmare, a Fomóiri… you would have but a moment to gaze upon his terrible visage before it is lost to the nebulous cloud of darkness he is engulfed in. As his voice rings in the musical Gaelic tongue you hear his words ring true in your ears even though you do not understand the language.
GrandInquisitor looks between Sean and Kassi, then locks eyes with the castle, his eyes glowing a ghostly white in the darkness of hell, "Julie, she's there."
Sean Murphy: Yer sure?
Sean Murphy: Cus if no’... don' wan’ ta be interruptin’ any tea parties.
GrandInquisitor chuckles softly at Sean.
Tarot Star grins at him, "Thought you liked a good tea party, Sean?"
GrandInquisitor: Close your eyes and focus on her, Sean. You too Kassi, she still has the ring."
"Aye, I kin sense ‘er," Sean Murphy looks down at the ring on his clawed finger.
GrandInquisitor takes Kassi's hand and squeezes it softly, "Well, I guess we have a party to crash. Hope Lilith doesn't mind." He grins, "Kassi, your spells ready?"
Sean Murphy: We're off ta see the demoness, the terrible demoness ov ‘ell.
"Love, they're all in my head, that and the few little toys I brought with me", Tarot Star pats where the marblized backpack rests.
GrandInquisitor smiles at Kassi, "Shall we?"
Sean Murphy: Aye. Let's do this.
GrandInquisitor focuses his attention on Julie, trudging through the mud a look of grim determination on his face, whispering incantations to himself.
Tarot Star: Let's get Julie the hell outta here, she doesn't deserve this place.
Sean Murphy nods.
GrandInquisitor nods softly still walking, the fires in his eyes burning brighter, the glow spreading over his body. He eyes the castle, the glow getting brighter with every step.
Tarot Star looks down at her boots as she hears the mud squish under her feet and makes a face, "Lovely vacation spot you bring me to, Love."
Sean Murphy: Tha brochure was nice.
GrandInquisitor chuckles softly under her breath, "What did you want? Flowers and shore front walks?"
Sean Murphy: ‘ow about no mud unless et's in bath form, applied by little Oriental women?
Tarot Star: You say this like it's a good thing.
Sean Murphy: God I miss Rei.
They continue to walk together through the valley thick with mud till they find themselves at the bottom of the steps of the castle. As they start to climb them, the double doors mysteriously open on their own without the aid of any creature or device of any kind.
"Oh, good, they are expecting us", GrandInquisitor walks through the door, leaving all fear behind him. Sean Murphy follows behind, his burning green eyes searching the darkness for threats. They enter a hallway made of polished black marble walls and of black granite floors. On the walls are colourful murals on either side, depicting scenes from the story of Lilith and Asmodeus. Further inside, they can the sounds of moaning, groaning as well as gasps of desire coming from the rooms off to the sides, evidently the sounds of sex everywhere. GrandInquisitor runs his finger over the wall, looking just in the direction that Julie is in.
Sean Murphy: Aye... lovely honeymoon fer ye two.
GrandInquisitor: Creatures of lust.
Tarot Star stops at the door and murmurs softly under her breath, the sparkles around her replaced by a blue light shining from her eyes. Reaching into her pocket she removes the leathery marble and taps it three times, "Release.."
Sean Murphy: ‘ey, there is room for only one creature of lust ‘ere, and tha's me.
GrandInquisitor's body ceasing to be flesh, his body becoming holy light, six sets of wings unfurling from his back. Tarot Star watches as the marble expands into her backpack and slings it over her shoulder, then enters and tilts her head, "Sounds like someone's having fun."
Sean Murphy stands beside Kassi, brandishing his claws, sharper than razors, harder than diamonds.
GrandInquisitor: Indeed, and soon Julie will be able to as well, lets free her.
After Rex, Kassi and Sean go down the hall, they notice that it opens into a court of many corridors, branching off on either side but all looking about the same. The floor itself has changed from granite to marble. At the end of the room are two thrones that are presently vacant as the court seems to be entirely empty, save that for a single spirit lurking in the corner that they do not sense.
GrandInquisitor closes his eyes and searching for Julie.
Sean Murphy opens a third eye, red as blood opens on his forehead.
GrandInquisitor: Where is she?
Julie's ghost watches them as the three of them search out for her. She tries to send a message to them but is too weak still to enable to in which she can only manage to send telepathically, "Go left." Kassi feels her instinctly telling her "left" but the question remaining she wondered, "Whose left? Was it the corridors on the left side of the room or was it the corridors off Lilith's and Asmodeus' thrones?"
All of a sudden, the double doors behind them slam shut, the sound reverberating throughout the hallway and court with a resounding bang!
Sean Murphy: Seems everyone is busy with tha tea.
GrandInquisitor strides to the thrones his gaze even all anger gone from his being, thinking only of his sister.
Sean Murphy stands his ground, the eye on his forehead snapping shut as another opens on the back of his left shoulder staring at the door.
Tarot Star unslings the backpack and takes out a vial of what looks like mercury, unstoppering it and letting three drops fall to the floor, "What I seek you shall find, lead us to our prize." The spell's cast just before the door slams shut and she jumps.
"You two find Julie, I need to talk to Lilith," GrandInquisitor looks at the two of them. "Sean....."
Sean Murphy: Don' be a 'ero.
GrandInquisitor eyes Sean.
Sean Murphy: Aye?
GrandInquisitor: You know.
Kassi then remembers from her vast knowledge of witchlore that the left she felt would be on her right as Lilith favoured women represented by the left side. So it would not be coming from their perspective but from hers. As her throne faces towards the back of the room, her left would actually be their right. "Sean, can you sense anything coming from the right side of the room? I have a strong sense Julie's in one of those corridors."
Sean Murphy: Aye, I've got 'er.
They hear coming from all around them the sound of hundreds of cloven hooves approaching the room from all directions. They are Asmodeus' army of incubi rushing to their position.
GrandInquisitor looks from Sean to Kassi.
Sean Murphy: Don' think we ‘ave time.
Tarot Star: The merry pigfucking hell?? Rex, I'm not leaving you!
GrandInquisitor kneels to the floor, keeping his eyes from the throne.
Sean Murphy: Time ta meet tha lady ov tha ‘ouse.
GrandInquisitor sends calming thoughts to Kassi, a smile in his heart.
As the court falls silent, the sound of of single pair heels click very loundly on the marble as she approaches slowly the huge room, echoing softly against the polished walls. Sean cracks his knuckles.
GrandInquisitor looks back at Sean at the sound and shakes his head at him.
Sean Murphy shrugs.
GrandInquisitor lets the glow die from his form, his wings still on his back, but just flesh.
Lilith steps into the room and heads to the front of the room where her and Asmodeus' thrones sit. She looks like most succubi but she is black, has red, fiery eyes with black, raven hair tied up. She stops to stand just in front of Rex who continues to kneel in front of her throne. On either side of him, Kassi and Sean stand just slightly behind him.
GrandInquisitor: Lilith, mother.
Tarot Star stands behind Rex and crosses her arms over her chest, the glow in her eyes changing to blue flames as her focus increases as the shadows around Sean grow darker, all can be seen are his glowing eyes.
Lilith then looks at them curiously for a moment, "Who enters my domain? Speak!"
GrandInquisitor: I am one of your other servents. I am the protector.
Lilith starts to walk around the three of them, inspecting and assessing them, "It has been a long time, Rex."
GrandInquisitor looks up at her, tears filling his eyes, "It has".
Sean Murphy stays silent, he radiates rage, a force of pure chaos and nature.
GrandInquisitor: Mother, Lilith, I have come with a request. Two actually.
Tarot Star watches Rex and Lilith, a single coppery brow lofting, but saying nothing so far.
Lilith finishes circling the trio, climbing the steps to her throne and sits down in the throne, crossing her legs in front of them and rest back in the throne, the court fills up with various people, demons and otherworldly creatures.
Lilith: Two, you say? I don't see you for what how many years? And then you come back asking?!
GrandInquisitor nods slowly, "Yes, mother."
Lilith: How long has it been and why did you leave me and your father?
GrandInquisitor: For love mother ... and too long.
Lilith: Was it worth it?
GrandInquisitor: It was. But, I am glad to see you again.
Lilith: Are you coming back to stay?
GrandInquisitor: No, mother.
Lilith: Figured as much.
"I must still maintain the balance. Soon mother, soon." GrandInquisitor rises from his knees to stand before her. "Mother, my first request."
Tarot Star: ...
Lilith nods, "Very well, childe. What do you request?"
GrandInquisitor: My sister, Julie, I would return her to her home.
Asmodeus now enters the room, his clodden feet making noises and sits down beside Lilith. He stands at eight foot six with horns and looks like a giant version of Pan.
GrandInquisitor approaches her slowly nodding to Asmodeus, "Hello father." He then takes Lilith's hand kissing it softly.
Asmodeus nods in response but listens carefully trying to get the gist of the conversation taking place as he's making eye contact with various people in the room around them. They are the lieutenants of his army of demons who understand from his eye contact to be ready if anything should go awry.
GrandInquisitor: And second, mother, I want your blessing. I wish to marry the woman before you.
Lilith: Julie can't come, she has to do her penance for her treachery towards Ghost Widow. Besides she's already dead.
GrandInquisitor: Mother, you can change that, I know it.
Asmodeus speaks to Lilith quietly, "They just want the body, you can still keep her spirit, the ritual worked."
GrandInquisitor: Keep her treachery, keep the part of her soul corrupted by life, give me the rest. I beg of you mother.
Lilith: Very well, she is on the corridor to your nearest right, you'll find her there.
GrandInquisitor: Thank you mother, and my second request?
Lilith: As for the blessing, I hardly know this woman, is she a daughter of mine?
GrandInquisitor slowly walks back to Kassi, smiling at her softly, gently he takes her hand and kisses it softly, "She is a child of the light, mother. As am i, I might remind you."
Lilith makes a face, "No fallen angel of mine is marrying a child of light."
GrandInquisitor: She is a witch, mother.
Tarot Star turns to look up at Rex and smiles softly, raising a hand to his cheek though her eyes speak volumes that he's going to have lots to explain later.
"And the woman I love," GrandInquisitor kisses her forehead softly. "Mother, I'm not fallen."
Lilith: But she is not practicing black magick, probably not even any sex magick or death magick
"She does kill, mother," GrandInquisitor puts his hand on the small of Kassi's back, slowly moving her closer to Lilith. He then looks at Sean.
Sean Murphy grows darker, flaming eyes flickering.
GrandInquisitor nods slowly.
Tarot Star: Rather difficult for the average Skull to survive a forklift to the face.
GrandInquisitor smiles softly, "Mother, she is a worthy wife for your son."
Lilith studies Kassi for a moment then sighs, "Very well but try to keep this fiancee this time?"
GrandInquisitor nods slowly, "Of course mother. Thank you." GrandInquisitor smiles brightly at Lilith.
Lilith: Kassi I have one request. I want you to start studying black magick.
Tarot Star arches a coppery brow, "Why?"
GrandInquisitor looks down at Kassi, "That is her realm."
Lilith: If you are going to be a daughter of this house, it is our way.
GrandInquisitor: Mother, if she, like I, practices both?
Lilith: She may.
GrandInquisitor looks at Kassi again.
Lilith: Balance is important and essential.
Asmodeus smiles to Kassi, "Welcome to the family."
GrandInquisitor: Love, what say you?
Tarot Star shrugs slightly, "Magic is magic.. it's the intent behind it that's important. I'm not adverse to expanding my knowledge."
GrandInquisitor smiles lovingly at Kassi.
"Thank you mother, father", GrandInquisitor bows low before them, "Mother, I will come back."
Lilith waves her hand about nonchalantly, "And don't be a stranger."
GrandInquisitor chuckles softly.
Lilith grabs Asmodeus' hand and gives it a squeeze.
"Brother, Kassi, shall we?" GrandInquisitor turns to face them both. "Let's get her home."
Sean Murphy shifts to face Rex without even seeming to move.
An area of the crowd of demons parts for them to allow access to the door on the nearest right of them. They stand quietly at attention as the trio pass them on their way to the corridor on their right.
Tarot Star: Oh yeah.. let's get Julie outta here, there's a sale at Icon I'm dying to drag her to.
GrandInquisitor laughs loudly, "Thank you again, mother." He walks down the hall to the room with Julie in it.
After they head down the corridor and it opens into a Roman bath but instead of water, it is filled with blood.
Sean Murphy: Charming... Martha Stuart?
GrandInquisitor looks at Sean, "Would it really surprise you?"
Tarot Star: Well.. it worked for Elizabeth Bathory.
Sean Murphy: I wasn't making a joke this time.
GrandInquisitor chuckles as he sees with his preternatural sight that Julie is lying at the bottom of the pool, encased in chains, "I know you weren't." GrandInquisitor walks into the blood, motioning Sean to come with him.
Tarot Star: Oh icky.
The darkness that is Sean flows after Rex.
GrandInquisitor reaches under, grabbing her.
Tarot Star: You know... I -could- just levitate her up here.
GrandInquisitor looks back at Kassi, "Oh yeah....."
Tarot Star facepalms, "Men."
GrandInquisitor chuckles, nods to Kassi, "Work your magic, love."
Sean Murphy would shrug if his arms could be seen as he stood in the blood.
GrandInquisitor walks back out of the blood.
Tarot Star closes her eyes, the blue flames dying and the sparkles around her returning as she raises her arms and murmurs under her breath, creating a gravitational distortion around Julie's body, releasing it from the gravity of this place so that she rises.
Sean Murphy moves out of the blood, the shadows he wears as a cloak slightly tinted red.
Julie Johnson slowly rises out of the blood.
GrandInquisitor walks from the pool, watching Kassi with awe on his face.
Tarot Star is just that goooood.
Julie Johnson is levitating supinely now above the blood, and she is naked except for the chains and her ring that she has been wearing.
Tarot Star: Grab her, Rex.. get her outta that crap.
GrandInquisitor grabs Julie and carries her to lay at Kassi's feet. He looks at Sean to help him with the chains.
Sean Murphy reaches out, his clawed hand emerging from the shadows, a quick slash and they fall, cleanly cut.
Bombshell Blonde's jaw drops when she sees Sean slice through the chains that Haephestus had made for Thanatos and thinks to herself, "Haeph is so going to freak when he finds these chains shredded!"
GrandInquisitor holds Julie in his arms, looking into her face lovingly. He runs his fingers down her cheek, sending his own life force into her.
Tarot Star draws a sigil in the air that hangs there in blue flames, reaching into it and pulling out a big blanket, kneeling and covering Julie with it, "Now what?"
Sean Murphy withdraws his hand back into the inky blackness.
GrandInquisitor: Julie, sister, come back to me.
Sean Murphy: Now we get the ‘ell out ov ‘ere.
"Pun intended?" GrandInquisitor winks at Sean.
Tarot Star can't resist the bit of comedy to lighten the mood, "You're so givin the poor girl cooties."
GrandInquisitor helps Kassi with the blanket.
Bombshell Blonde floats over to dead version of herself, reaching into her body and begins to massage the heart with her ghostly hand. She starts to caste silently a resurrection spell to aid her brother Rex in reviving her. Julie Johnson doesn't stir at first but then gasps and starts choking violently.
GrandInquisitor continues sending the energy into her.
Julie Johnson turns her head to the side away from them and coughs up blood.
Julie Johnson is fighting for breath.
Tarot Star: Easy.. easy, slow breaths...eeewwww
GrandInquisitor looks at Kassi a soft smile on his face.
Julie Johnson starts to throw up blood, her face turning blue.
Sean Murphy: Turn her over. She will choke on her own vomit.
GrandInquisitor forces as much healing energy into her as he can, his own glow getting dimmer, he moves her to be on her stomach.
Tarot Star touches her and closes her eyes, murmuring her healing spell under her breath and watching as the familiar green glow surrounds Julie's form.
Julie Johnson finishes throwing up and yet is still coughing while trying to inhale.
GrandInquisitor runs his hand down Julies back while whispering loving words into her ear.
Sean Murphy: We are taking her and not striking at those who kept her then?
Julie Johnson slowly opens her eyes, as the wound in her lungs begins to heal.
GrandInquisitor: No, we are not striking at them, Julie made a deal, and broke it. Lilith.....does not accept treachery.
Tarot Star: And from the sound of things ... she's going to be.... my mother in law???
GrandInquisitor nods, "I was reborn from two women".
Sean Murphy: Aww.. Rex has two mommies... very progressive.
Tarot Star: Thanksgiving is gonna be a joy.. I can just see it now.
GrandInquisitor looks at Julie as he runs his hands through her hair.
Julie Johnson opens her eyes slowly.
Tarot Star smiles, "Hey there, stranger.."
GrandInquisitor: Hello again, sister.
Julie Johnson looks at them confusedly and then starts to panic.
Tarot Star: Julie, Julie.. calm down it's okay!!
GrandInquisitor focuses his energy on the ring, sending his calming energy into her.
Julie Johnson: Where am I? Who are you?
"I'm Rex, your brother, we have much to show you," GrandInquisitor smiles softly at Kassi.
Julie Johnson shakes her head confusedly, "Who am I?"
GrandInquisitor: Your name is Julie Johnson.
Tarot Star: I'm Kassi... we met at the magic shop in Talos, remember?
GrandInquisitor: Come, lets leave this place.
Julie Johnson looks at her suspiciously and shakes her head.
GrandInquisitor touches Julie's cheek.
Bombshell Blonde smiles softly as she watches the three of them help her mortal self. As Julie's ghost, she sends a message to her body although it is too weak still to be understood, "It's okay, girl, now go home."
Julie Johnson: Home? Where's home?
GrandInquisitor: Home is where we are.
Tarot Star: Cripes.. she doesn't remember a thing..
GrandInquisitor: Not this place, but your family. We are your family.
Sean Murphy: Aye, lass... we're 'ere ta take care ov ye.
Julie Johnson looks around, "I don't know this place."
GrandInquisitor: Kassi, can you do the honors of getting us home?
Sean Murphy: An’ yer better off forgettin’ this place.
GrandInquisitor: You shouldn't know this place. We will explain as much as we can.
Tarot Star: Oh yeah, I've had that spell ready for awhile now.
GrandInquisitor smiles at Kassi.
Julie Johnson hears the moans, groans and sighs of pleasure in the distance and looks a little wigged out.
"Quickly please," GrandInquisitor chuckles.
Tarot Star takes two vials of blue liquid and hurls them at the floor, shattering the fragile glass. The liquid seems to flow towards each other, then straight up in a glowing blue sheet of energy, "I have to go through last.. now get her out of here."
GrandInquisitor takes Julie through the gate, carrying her out with Sean following behind. Kassi comes up the rear with the portal closing behind her, its energy dissipating quickly as it disappears, leaving only a puddle of water on the floor. They are now back in her apartment in Talos.
Back in the Fifth Hell, where Julie's ghost remains, Bombshell Blonde smiles faintly after watching her family leave the realm. The ritual had worked and now her mortal version can begin a new life in Paragon, without her past, her history, or knowledge of all the crimes that she had committed in her life. Julie Johnson was reborn innocent.
Give us this day, our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
-- "The Lord's Prayer"
- “Never shall innocent blood be shed. Yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river. The three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful striking hammer of god...”
(Note: Everything Sean says from this point forward is in Gaelic, however everyone can understand what he says as if he spoke in English.)